Easing The Online Shift With Integrated Invoicing

While FinTech innovation has opened up the doors for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to access more sophisticated solutions to manage money, software fatigue has business owners overwhelmed by a barrage of siloed systems.

In recent years, FinTech partnerships and integrations have become an integral component of providing a positive end-user experience. And according to Ronny Yakov, CEO of The OLB Group, QuickBooks is often an ideal place to start.

“You always need to be able to integrate with QuickBooks,” he told PYMNTS in an interview. “Nobody can really compete, but we can complement.”

For The OLB Group, that meant the recently announced integration of billing and payment gateway functionality within QuickBooks. The company has connected its SecurePay payment gateway solution within the accounting platform, allowing for SMBs to generate invoices and receive payment without having to leave QuickBooks.

For SMBs that are struggling amid market volatility, the ability to seamlessly generate invoices with a link to pay not only means time saved but could also support faster payments. According to Yakov, it can certainly support digitization of B2B payments, with SecurePay able to support both ACH and card transactions.

“I haven’t written a paper check in so long, I don’t even remember how many years,” noted Yakov, adding that electronic payments make transacting far more simple and economical. With businesses in need of receiving their payment quickly, lowering the barrier for invoice recipients to actually settle the bill can accelerate accounts receivable (AR) for SMBs. The OLB Group is looking to further speed up B2B payments with the eventual addition of same-day funding capabilities, Yakov said.

“Especially today, merchants are struggling to make payroll for their employees,” he noted. “They want to get their money as soon as possible.”

There is the potential, too, for integrated invoicing capabilities within QuickBooks to combat invoice fraud, a growing pain point for the B2B payments landscape.

Cyber attackers and online scammers are using a long list of tactics to steal cash from businesses by infiltrating the weak points in AR and accounts payable (AP) workflows. The invoice can often be that weak point, with attackers either generating fake invoices or altering legitimate ones to redirect payments into their own bank accounts.

When invoices are generated via third-party solutions like that offered by The OLB Group, there is two-way communication between senders and recipients that Yakov said ensures payers can verify a bill before it is actually paid.

Ensuring businesses can get paid as quickly as possible, and as securely as possible, are two critical components of supporting SMBs amid the pandemic. As such, electronic B2B payments are a vital tool in that effort. According to Yakov, before the pandemic, about 65 percent of The OLB Group’s merchant base were not online. Now, it’s split almost 50-50 between traditional and eCommerce, opening up a wide opportunity for solution providers to help businesses guide their digital sales strategies.

It’s likely to be a long-lasting impact from the pandemic as more businesses embrace a B2B eCommerce model and the electronic invoicing and payments opportunities that come along with it. But for a successful digital strategy, organizations must be able to work seamlessly with the long list of FinTech solutions available to them. As demand for digital solutions grows, so will demand for cross-platform integrations.

“It took us a while to convince customers before the pandemic to have a website and start transacting online,” said Yakov. “Before it was difficult to convince someone to spend the money. Now it’s, ‘I must have it right now.'”

 

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